Missouri to Ban Texting and Driving for all Drivers?

Missouri legislature

Missouri is one of only two states that does not ban texting and driving for all drivers. Right now, it is legal for drivers over 21 to text and drive but not for those aged 21 and younger. (Montana is the other state without a state law against texting and driving.) However, texting while driving may not be allowed much longer in Missouri.

ban texting and driving texting while driving texting drivingThe Missouri Legislature recently passed a bill that would ban texting by all drivers. The measure, which was endorsed in the House, won final approval in the Senate on a 26-7 vote, and has been sent to Gov. Mike Parsons.

Senate Bill 398, sponsored by Sen. Nick Schroer, R-St. Charles County, bars police from pulling over a driver for using their phone as a primary traffic offense. It’s not going to be a violation on its own; but it will be considered a secondary traffic offense. That means the police would have to pull a  driver over for a primary offense such as speeding in order to cite the driver for texting while driving.

The Bill would, however, still let drivers use their voice-activated or hands-free options to write, send, or read a text. It would also allow drivers to make phone calls using these same features.

The proposed new law could go into effect in August.

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